Twitter is not the only company that has expressed interest in acquiring news reading app Flipboard, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. Citing multiple unnamed sources, the publication says that several other companies, including Google and Yahoo, have also had discussions with the Palo Alto-based company to talk about an acquisition.
However, in contrast to Twitter, which is said to have been willing to pay upwards of $1-billion to acquire the company, the latter two have not discussed a price with Flipboard; instead, much of their conversations have focused on how Flipboard might integrate with their existing services.
As with yesterday’s report from Recode, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Twitter’s talks with Flipboard stalled in April, though the publication adds some interesting details regarding the nature of Twitter’s interest in the company.
Confirming Recode‘s report, the WSJ says that Twitter’s talks to acquire Flipboard were led by Anthony Noto, the company’s CFO. Noto, it turns out, was at Goldman Sachs when the firm took part in Flipboard’s $50-million Series C round in December 2013, and was a significant driving force in its decision to invest in the company. Moreover, prior to even joining Twitter, Noto had advised the company to look in to acquiring Flipboard.
That said, for Twitter, as well as Google and Yahoo, the main interest in Flipboard has to do with the distribution of news. Despite a count of only about 65 million active users and reports that its growth has slowed, all three tech giants see the company as potentially valuable tool to use against Facebook. A recent Pew Research Center report estimated that one-third of Americans get the majority of their daily news through Facebook, and with the successful launch Instant Articles, that number is likely set to increase. None of the three companies interested in Flipboard want to give a lucrative market away to Mark Zuckerberg and company, and nor should they.
[source]The Wall Street Journal[/source]